Kiss Me, Kiss You
When I was twelve, I was "Polly" in the school play, "The Boyfriend." This part required kissing. I remember reading that portion of the script, and being petrified. When I auditioned, I had no idea there would be kissing involved.
On the day of rehearsal, I made absolutely NO effort to act the part. I stood on the end of the stage, with my arms firmly crossed over my stomach, and my face set like granite toward the director.
"Jason, kiss Christin," Mr. Slater said. And I didn't move. I stood rooted to my spot as thirteen-year-old Jason approached me. He leaned his head toward mine, but I didn't move an inch. I'm not sure just exactly what Mr. Slater was expecting and now that I look back, I think he handled the whole thing pretty poorly.
First of all, what sort of an adult puts two kids on a stage and then orders them to kiss? Perhaps other twelve year olds were off kissing people, but I had barely touched a boy by that time. I had had boyfriends, but the minute we became boyfriend, girlfriend I did everything in my power to avoid them. I never looked at them. I never sat next to them. I never even talked to them, except by passing notes through friends.
Jason looked at Mr. Slater hopelessly, and I stood there rigid as a board. Mr. Slater, who was a tall gray man, with black hair, and a big lump on the side of his neck, was known for his ill-humor. He snorted in disgust and shook his head. Just kiss her on the cheek, he barked. I'm not sure whether or not he was annoyed at Jason for being unresourceful, or me for being defiant.
I remember the rush of blood to my face, and the wet spot left over from Jason's lips. I'm not sure how I managed to continue acting through the rest of the rehearsal.
By the end of the school year, we performed "The Boyfriend" four nights in a row to a full house each night. As an adult, I wish I had taped those performances. I would love to watch my little face the moment each kiss happened.